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Thread: Is 3D going anywhere?

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    Is 3D going anywhere?

    Apparently, there is talk of 3D TVs on the horizon. Jammer is irate about it.

    Is this 3D going anywhere? I'm pretty sure we've had this fad have its 15 minutes multiple times since the advent of visual media.

    What form will this take? The current main way to do it is to use polarisation to separate simultaneously projected stereo pairs of frames. This is fine for the cinema, but how do you get a TV to project stereo pairs of polarised frames? With LED backlighting, it may be possible using polarisation filters over the individual LEDs and alternating the frames. But the next upcoming display technology is OLED. How do you polarise that?

    The alternative suggested technology for televisions is shutter glasses, where LCD senses open and close in synchronisation with the alternating left and right frame display on the TV. This still sucks. You're basically halving the brightness of every frame making a dimmer, if higher dimension, image.

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    Sure looks like it:
    2010 Consumer Electronics Show
    ...We also expect to see a lot of activity around 3DTV as competing technologies from Sony, Panasonic, LG and others vie for attention...Aside from the new Blu-ray 3D standard other standards are falling into place like the new HDMI 1.4 standard which will add support for 3D to HDMI. We also read that DirecTV is going to introduce a 3D HDTV channel sometime in 2010...
    retrevo.com

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    Yeah, I read about that this morning. The geek in me was hoping for the unveiling of some newfangled holographic projection technology that was compact enough and cheap enough to hit the consumer market. I can dream, right?

    I was disgusted when I clicked the link to the article, and the first picture that loaded was a pair of 3d eye-glasses. As far as I'm concerned, 3D is ruining perfectly serviceable movies and I'm sick of it; the announcement that it may soon be coming to television wasn't exactly something that thrilled me.

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    In my view, anything that requires you to wear special glasses will remain a niche product. Until someone develops a practical holographic display (or something else that can truly display 3D images) it will continue in pretty much the same niche it has for decades.

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    I've been to two 3D movies and I'm afraid I wasn't thrilled by the 3D aspect. This may be because the human brain uses many cues to see 3D and adding one more doesn't make that large a difference. And I like a sharper image from a 2D projection. Of course the reason that 3D doesn't thrill me might just be that I'm weird, but I'd be interested in showing a group of people enough 3D movies so the novelty wears off and then do a double blind test where half see Avatar in 3D and half see Avatar in 2D and see if there is a significant difference in their enjoyent.

    Anyone here see both 2D and 3D version of Avatar and want to comment on their enjoyment of them?

    As for glasses and home use, if the glasses are high tech pricy things that children can break it will be a big drawback. Also, home 3D makes even a small percentage of people queasy that will be a big drag on sales too (although not a massive drag, judging from the large number of TV sets many people have in their homes today.)

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    Sports seems like a natural, tho:
    January 6, 2009
    ...ESPN...is launching a new channel June 11. ESPN 3-D will debut with soccer's World Cup, and it is scheduled to air at least 85 sporting events in the new format...
    npr.org
    ...Other events to be produced in 3-D include the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, college basketball and football contests, up to 25 World Cup matches and the Summer X Games. Additional events will be announced at a later date...
    sports.espn.go.com

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    I'm completely with Vin Rijn on this one.

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    3D films are fun . . . for about five minutes, after which I start to develop a headache from it. I did sit through House of Wax on the 1980s revival, but nothing since.

    (Note: If you show a 3D film, at least do it right. Back in the 1970s I saw Andy Warhol's Frankenstein and the projectionist had the prism oriented wrong, like 90 degrees wrong.

    (So, all of our poor brains were trying to resolve impossible images. If they hadn't fixed things after the first reel, we'd all have come out of there cross-eyed and insane.)

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    whether it will take off or not, one thing is IMO certain: a lot more stakeholders are going to be trying to "push it down our collective throats", a.k.a. trying to convince us that we want to see it in 3D.

    let's examine the stakeholders:
    TV & electronics manufacturers: they've done color, they've done high-def, they've done 3D sound systems, and they've done the "surface on the wall whose the thinnest of them all" competition. they need something to show there shareholders that they have a competitive selling point - no TV manufacturer can afford competing only in pricing.
    TV suppliers (often also producers): right now the biggest barrier between online content and the big screen in your living room is applying codex. we have commercial technology - both wired and wireless - to simply show your laptop or netbook (and in theory your mobile) screen content on your TV, but the codex you will view it in will be designed for the little screen, reducing the quality. codex's to fix this are under works because nobody really holds the right for HD, but with 3D companies will get the option to patent the codex they use for there own little digital box, legally forcing you to view content made for 3D under there own terms. there will probably still be hacks, but they aren't going to come in complete "PC to TV wireless bla bla" products which would make them part of the general use.
    content producers: much like health insurance companies, content producers like working by the company rather then by the user, they like selling big packages where as far as the bottom line is concerned it doesn't matter which of there product sell, only that some of there products sell. the internet provides a lot of opportunities that cable doesn't, but this isn't one of them, so for the reasons above - they'd want the status quo remained.

    will they succeed? i don't know, but historically they've shown to be pretty good at it. sure this isn't the first 3D rave, but this time? there's no where else to go.

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    Computer monitors tend to be higher resolution than TV's so surely it should be the other way round.

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    Bad enough sitting on your remote. Now your 3D glasses?

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    Can I get prescription 3-D glasses? Also, will the lenses and frames be covered by my vision insurance?
    So many bugs, so little time.

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    Okay this is just stupid. I want my licence fee back.

    If TV is struggling at all, it's because the programming is crap. That's not going to be solved by adding an extra dimension. Reality rubbish don't need the two dimensions they've already got.

    Secondly, what recession is this supposed to help? The 2020 recession? There is no way 3D TV will do anything for this recession. Who in their right minds is going to say, "We have to tighten our belts in the current economic climate, but hey look! 3D TV! Yeah, let's go wild on an expensive toy, which has absolutely no use because there is no 3D programming around."

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    I have a pet cyclops I can sick on 3D enthusists if you like. He tends to miss a lot however. I tell him he has to move his head more when he rampages, but he just doesn't listen...

    Hey, I just worked out what's wrong with 3D at the movies. We get 3D cues from having a bit of distance seperating our eyes, but we also get them from physically moving our heads. The head moving part doesn't work for a 3D movie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    Computer monitors tend to be higher resolution than TV's so surely it should be the other way round.
    how would that make it the other way around? its part of the reason that when you plug in (or use a wireless) your laptop to your TV the view is crap. it is my understanding from reviews and instructions on such connections that this is mainly due to the lack of codex to adjusting for it.

    unless you mean people shouldn't want to watch it on there tv's in the first place. in this case, i don't think it has much to do with quality of view over computer monitors but rather with commercial transitions:
    people could buy large computer monitors for there living room, but there's an in-between stage where you'd want the easy (meaning your average grandma can do it) capacity to switch back & forth, creating a time period for new applications to explore & streamline into the new viewing environment and for the audience to move in gradually until "there's nothing in particular i want to watch in tv that justifies the extra provider price" becomes a mainstream line of thought. personally i'm hoping for something along pandora but for tv, and for bloody NN sake no bloody nationality blocking, i hate using proxies.

  16. 2010-Jan-09, 05:39 PM

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    The 3D movies of the '50s used linearly polarized glasses with the polarization of the two lenses set at 90 to each other; the film was actually two films, one for the left eye and one for the right, separately projected through polarizing filters at 90 to each other to match the filters in the glasses.

    Avatar (and other current 3d movies) use glasses that are circularly polarized, clockwise for one eye and counterclockwise for the other, and the left and right films are projected through matching filters.

    3D TV would not be polarized. With the higher frame rates used in newer TVs, the left/right separation is achieved by active glasses which are controlled by (Bluetooth? I'm not sure) transmission from the TV. For one frame the left lens is made opaque and the right lens is transparent while the right frame image is displayed; for the next frame the lenses are reversed and the left image is displayed. In this manner, left/right images are presented to the left/right eye alternately through the program.

    In fact, the mechanism which switches the lenses does involve polarization; each lens is made of two layers of polarizing material. One of the layers can be made to change its direction of polarization by 90 by putting a voltage across it, which will turn that lens opaque. The two lenses are driven alternately. This is completely quiet, and there will be no noticeable flicker because of the high frame rate .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Techist View Post
    The 3D movies of the '50s used linearly polarized glasses with the polarization of the two lenses set at 90 to each other; the film was actually two films, one for the left eye and one for the right, separately projected through polarizing filters at 90 to each other to match the filters in the glasses.

    Avatar (and other current 3d movies) use glasses that are circularly polarized, clockwise for one eye and counterclockwise for the other, and the left and right films are projected through matching filters.

    3D TV would not be polarized. With the higher frame rates used in newer TVs, the left/right separation is achieved by active glasses which are controlled by (Bluetooth? I'm not sure) transmission from the TV. For one frame the left lens is made opaque and the right lens is transparent while the right frame image is displayed; for the next frame the lenses are reversed and the left image is displayed. In this manner, left/right images are presented to the left/right eye alternately through the program.

    In fact, the mechanism which switches the lenses does involve polarization; each lens is made of two layers of polarizing material. One of the layers can be made to change its direction of polarization by 90 by putting a voltage across it, which will turn that lens opaque. The two lenses are driven alternately. This is completely quiet, and there will be no noticeable flicker because of the high frame rate .
    perhaps a naive question (from someone who missed the 50's), but how does any of that adds to the commercial value of 3D?

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    As someone with only 20% vision in his left eye and a bad case of Eccentric Fixation, colour me completely and utterly uninterested ...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Techist View Post
    ...3D TV would not be polarized...
    Well, that just turned me off. Different remotes laying around, needing batteries, and going bad are bad enough.
    Now; multiply that (and accessory cost) by how many people are going to watch it. I doubt they will make the glasses universal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    ...Who in their right minds is going to say, "We have to tighten our belts in the current economic climate, but hey look! 3D TV! Yeah, let's go wild on an expensive toy...
    I agree that nobody in thier right mind is going to say that, but I see a good portion of the population that isn't in thier right mind (in matters like that).

    Quote Originally Posted by Glom View Post
    ...which has absolutely no use because there is no 3D programming around."
    And; even if there were, what are the chances your carrier will rebroadcast it that way?
    Most of the channels on my cable are broadcast in HD, but not through the cable.
    Same with portable TV's. Who is providing signals? and how strong are those signals? So far, I've seen nothing with the exceptions of a few large metropolises.
    I have no way of knowing if I have any of those near me.

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    I believe the answer will be some kind of lenticular rather than a glasses-based implementation of 3D. Philips tried it but gave up because it's still far too early for that tech - there's no content and the only content their screen could display is 3D. Ideally, the TV would find a way to automatically compensate by generating identical left and right eye images for regular content (manually duplicating every frame in the TV in realtime, including HD frames, can't be easy or cheap though).

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    Agree with VR; 3D is merely a holding pattern for the holography that everyone really wants.

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    I have seen 3D movies in my television (DVD player) wearing the red & green color filters and the effect is not as good as watching them on a big screen. I think 3D is only good if it's something massive that covers most of your line of sight. The 3D IMAX shows I have seen were awesome. Images seemed to hover just one or two feet from your face; a truly remarkable experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantomimic View Post
    I have seen 3D movies in my television (DVD player) wearing the red & green color filters and the effect is not as good as watching them on a big screen. I think 3D is only good if it's something massive that covers most of your line of sight. The 3D IMAX shows I have seen were awesome. Images seemed to hover just one or two feet from your face; a truly remarkable experience.
    Absolutely. The problem with 3D is when objects that appear to be in front of the screen suddenly disappear off the side of it. It's really hard on the eyes. Having the screen fill your field of view is a major part of being able to enjoy 3D.

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    The best "3D" I've ever seen was at one of the Disney parks (forget which one, been years and years). It was their Terminator 2 iMax show, which combined live action stunts with a huge screen with 3d effects as the backdrop. Add to it that the auditorium chairs moved (slightly, but gave the sensation of larger movements) and fans that would blow, making it feel like the objects really just sped past...

    ...yes, it was cool. I still don't need every movie or tv show to have that though.

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    i saw avatar and i didn't find the 3d that impressive. the 2d version was better.

    maybe 3d looks better for video games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    The best "3D" I've ever seen was at one of the Disney parks (forget which one, been years and years). It was their Terminator 2 iMax show, which combined live action stunts with a huge screen with 3d effects as the backdrop. Add to it that the auditorium chairs moved (slightly, but gave the sensation of larger movements) and fans that would blow, making it feel like the objects really just sped past...

    ...yes, it was cool. I still don't need every movie or tv show to have that though.
    That wasn't Disney. It was Universal Studios.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    That wasn't Disney. It was Universal Studios.
    Yeah. I couldn't think of the name! (I kept wanting to say Epcot, but I knew it wasn't that . . . and knew it wasn't Busch Gardens. I just couldn't remember the fourth park! Bah.)

    We were still in elementary school at the time, so my memory of how well it was done might be skewed a bit by time. But we sure enjoyed it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NGCHunter View Post
    I believe the answer will be some kind of lenticular rather than a glasses-based implementation of 3D. Philips tried it but gave up because it's still far too early for that tech - there's no content and the only content their screen could display is 3D. Ideally, the TV would find a way to automatically compensate by generating identical left and right eye images for regular content (manually duplicating every frame in the TV in realtime, including HD frames, can't be easy or cheap though).
    Duplicating the frame is cheap and easy with current TV technology. The CRT is largely dead; everything else has to digitally process the incoming signal anyway due to the pixelized nature of the display hardware.

    The cynic in me thinks the future of 3d will be in the form of the cell phone. Instead of the minor discomfort of wearing 3D glasses, or the somewhat less minor discomfort of wearing 3d goggles, the general public will instead clamor for the lovely discomfort of holding puny 3D displays in front of their faces.

    Why? I don't know. For some reason people like their stupid cell phone tricks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fazor View Post
    We were still in elementary school at the time, so my memory of how well it was done might be skewed a bit by time. But we sure enjoyed it.
    I keep forgetting how much younger than me you are--I went to junior high with the kid who played John Connor in that one, and he missed a fair amount of seventh grade to make the movie. He was a grade behind me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I keep forgetting how much younger than me you are--I went to junior high with the kid who played John Connor in that one, and he missed a fair amount of seventh grade to make the movie. He was a grade behind me.
    Ah well, that's either a compliment, or you just picture me as an older, but very immature person. Either way, no worries.

    I may have been in middle school. I know my brother was in elementary school, because he had broken his arm before that particular vacation, and I know he was in elementary school when he did that. I just don't remember the exact age.

    Of course, we had multiple trips to Florida (have relatives there), and I could still be confusing it further. But if you were in junior high, that'd certainly put me at that age.

    Anyway, to get back to 3D . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by dohbot View Post
    i saw avatar and i didn't find the 3d that impressive. the 2d version was better.

    maybe 3d looks better for video games.
    Oh for the love of [whatever relevant deity], please, video game industry, pleaaase keep 3D away from my video games! PLEASE! They're one of my few remaining and cherished pastimes. If those get ruined, I might have to actually do something pr--pro---productive! *shudder*

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